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Pall of church shooting shrouds town's Veterans Day ceremony
Texas community includes mourning for victims with somber tribute to veterans
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First responders join in prayer following a Veterans Day event, Saturday near the Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church, in Sutherland Springs, Texas. A man opened fire inside the church in the small South Texas community on Sunday, killing more than two dozen. - photo by Associated Press
SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas — First responders and law enforcement personnel stood with heads bowed Saturday in Sutherland Springs for a Veterans Day ceremony that also was meant to honor the more than two dozen people killed a block away at a church.About 100 people attended the ceremony outside the town's community center, where a wreath was placed near flags to remember those killed in last weekend's mass shooting, nearly half of whom had ties to the Air Force."Maybe this will start the healing process that will get Sutherland Springs and Wilson County to put this horrific tragedy behind us and look to the future," county Judge Richard Jackson told the gathering, his voice breaking.Jackson, the county's top administrator, thanked the first responders and others who rushed to First Baptist Church in the aftermath of Sunday's shooting. What they saw there will affect them the rest of their lives, he said.The attacker, Devin Patrick Kelley, killed 25 people — authorities put the number at 26 because one was pregnant — and wounded 20 others. Kelley, 26, died of what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound after being shot and chased by two men who heard gunfire from the church.Investigators have said the shooting appeared to stem from a domestic dispute involving Kelley and his mother-in-law, who sometimes attended services at the church but was not present on Sunday.Sutherland Springs is about 30 miles southeast of San Antonio and not far from several military posts, including Lackland Air Force Base.
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